Metro Manila has highest number of COVID-19 variant cases in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila has recorded the highest number of coronavirus variants among all the regions in the country, data from the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday showed.
The DOH has so far recorded a total of 118 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom, 58 cases of the B.1.351 variant from South Africa, and 85 cases of mutations with “potential clinical significance.”
According to DOH, Metro Manila has so far recorded a total of 29 cases of UK variant, and 45 cases of the South African variant.
Meanwhile, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has logged 25 cases of the UK variant.
Northern Mindanao and Calabarzon recorded one case each of the UK variant, while fifty-two returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) have also tested positive for the UK variant.
Nine other cases are being verified if they are ROFs or local cases, according to DOH. One case is a foreign national.
The DOH also said that two other ROFs were confirmed to have the South African variant, while 11 cases are being verified.
Meanwhile, Central Visayas has recorded 70 cases of the N501Y mutation linked to increased transmissibility of the virus, and the E484K, which has a potential effect on vaccine efficacy.
Metro Manila has seven cases of the said mutations, while Western Visayas has three cases, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has two, and Zamboanga Peninsula and Davao Region have one case each.
Another case of the mutations is being verified, the DOH said.
Active cases, recoveries, deaths
For the UK variant, the DOH said 39 cases are active, 77 are recoveries, and two cases have resulted in deaths.
For the South African variant, 55 are active cases, and three are recoveries.
For the COVID-19 cases with mutations, 21 are active cases, 62 are recoveries, and the status of the remaining two are being verified.
The DOH said in January that the UK variant “demonstrated higher transmissibility but [there is] no evidence that it increased infectivity, pathogenicity, or virulence.”
Meanwhile, it added that the pattern of mutations for the South African variant “suggests higher transmissibility and may have an impact on vaccine efficacy.” However, it noted that there is no evidence that the variant causes more severe conditions for COVID-19 patients.
On Friday, the DOH reported 3,045 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 587,704. The new cases are the highest so far this year as the DOH only reports over 1,000 new cases per day in the previous months, which went up to 2,000 in the recent days.
Of the total tally, 40,074 are active cases, while 535,207 are recoveries, and 12,423 are patients who have died.
The health department recently said that the plateau of COVID-19 cases observed in February was “broken” by a spike of fresh cases. It specifically flagged Metro Manila, Central Visayas, and CAR for a continued increase in cases.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.